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A Brisk & Exhilarating Workout Wednesday

Kicking off December with a brisk workout in Central Park

Kicking off December with a brisk workout in Central Park

It certainly doesn’t feel like December here in New York City on this first Workout Wednesday of the month! It’s been close to 50 degrees here the past few days, and I’ve enjoyed every breath of this balmy air on my morning walks to the office. However, it was nowhere near this warm on Saturday when I headed to Central Park for another great CrossFit UWS workout!

Armed with my Under Armour compression top, ear band and gloves, I was ready to go. Of course, after jump roping a few minutes and getting through one round of the warm up, my core temperature was adequately fired up and ready to push through another of Roberto Murichi’s killer workouts.

Here’s how it all broke down:

  • Static/Active Stretching:  After some static stretches for my calves and hip flexors, I spent between 5-6 minutes minutes jumping rope.
  • Warm up:  We had 10 minutes to complete as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of the following circuit:
  1. 50 m lunge walk
  2. 25 sit-ups
  3. 20 push-ups
  4. 15 back extensions (“Superman”s)

Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted part of my note on my iPhone and don’t remember how many rounds I got through. I know it was more than two and less than 10. Regardless, I was more than warmed up and ready to move on to the the heart of the workout. The key with any AMRAP it to remember you can stop and take a breather at any time when your body tells you to.

  • Workout: I’ll call it “Three Crazy Minutes x Five.”  The basic concept: we had three minutes to get through as many rounds of the following circuit as possible (yes, another AMRAP): 
  1. 25 m sprint
  2. Three burpees
  3. Six squats (I used the park bench as a guide to make sure I “sat” down far enough so that each squat count!)
  4. Nine box jumps (also using the park benches as our jumping on/off point)

We would work our way through each of the exercises listed above until the three minutes were up. Then we had one minute of rest before moving on to the next round. We did this for a total of five rounds.

I never made it through the circuit three full times in three minutes. The most I could bang out were two circuits and then an additional 25 meter sprint and three more burpees before the glorious sound of the buzzer went off to let us know we had 60 seconds to rest. When those five rounds were up, the endorphins were flowing and I felt great!

Despite the holiday hustle and bustle and Old Man Winter knocking on our doors, I’m hoping to get a couple more of these Central Park workouts in before the end of 2012. If you’re interested in getting in on the fun, click here for more information.

Wherever your workouts take you this month, remember to stay active so you can round out the year knowing you’re doing all you can to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Kicking off the New Season with a Kick-Butt Workout

Still standing after the first Autumn of 2012 Central Park workout!

This Workout Wednesday marks a first for me. I’m spending it in Iowa City! While you read this post, I’m either on one of two flights or in my rental car heading to my hotel. I plan on hitting the fitness center soon after checking in so I can get the blood pumping after sitting on the plane.

So, while I can’t give this past weekend’s killer CrossFit UWS workout another go today, I wanted to share it with you in case you have the desire and opportunity to kick things up a notch in the great outdoors!

Seriously, this workout was tough and NOT one I’d recommend for any beginner. However, if you’ve got solid core strength and good form while performing the following exercises, then well, I’d love to hear what you think of what Roberto Murichi cooked up for his latest and greatest Saturday morning class in Central Park.

  • Static stretching:   Each of us focused on static stretching our tight areas, holding each stretch for 30 seconds. For me, that meant paying special attention to my calves and hips.
  • Warm up:  The concept was to complete three exercises within 90 seconds for a total of five rounds. Here’s what each round looked like:
  1. 20-second plank, 100m sprint, three squat thrusts
  2. 20-second plank, 100m sprint, six squat thrusts
  3. 20-second plank, 100m sprint, nine squat thrusts
  4. 20-second plan, 100m sprint, 12 squat thrusts
  5. 20-second plan, 100m spring, 15 squat thrusts

What made this warm-up deceptively “easy” was the fact that if we completed the exercises before the 90-seconds were up, we could rest before the “ding” sounded on Roberto’s iPad alerting us to the start of the next round. So, for the first round, getting through the plank, spring and three squat thrusts left me with nearly 30 seconds of rest time before round two. However, as the squat thrusts reps got higher, the rest time got shorter. Needless to say after the seven-and-a-half minute warm up, I was a little scared of moving on to the killer workout!

  • Workout: For the purpose of this post, I’ll call it “30…20…drop!” It was “only” two rounds, but we were timed on how long it took us to complete them. For round one, we had to perform 30 reps of each exercise. For round two, we “only” had to get through 20. Oh, and each of the two rounds started with a 200m sprint. Now for the exercises:
  1. Push-ups
  2. Squats
  3. Sit-ups
  4. Walking lunges (30/20 total, so 15/10 for each leg)
  5. Bicycles (double count)
  6. Back extension (which some people call the “Superman”)
  7. Double-unders (I admit, I’m not coordinated enough to do double-unders, the jump rope always gets caught up on my feet! So for us single-under warriors, the reps broke down to 150/100 for each round)
  8. Burpees (UGH!)
  9. Box jumps (using the bend.) As a regression, we could do step ups/step downs

Well, someone in the group has to finish last and that was me. I wrapped the workout in 22:20. After I finally caught my breath, I couldn’t believe the rush I felt from the workout. Again, covered in dirt, sweat and grass with the echo of Roberto’s coaching us through lingering in my ears, I felt amazingly exhilarated!

So, I’m definitely following my own advice and mixing it up with the start of the new season. Maybe I’ll see some of you in the park one of these weekends. Click here if you’d like more information about the classes  and CrossFit UWS.

If you’ve got a killer workout you’d like to share, please don’t be shy! Sharing information about new and exciting fitness routines is a great way to help everyone have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Simply Lovin’ These Outdoor Workouts!

Saturday Morning Central Park Warriors!

On this Workout Wednesday, I gladly share what I’d call my favorite workout in recent memory.

The fact that Mother Nature provided a picture-perfect morning for this kick butt CrossFit UWS  group class in Central Park didn’t hurt. Here’s what Roberto Murichi cooked up for us to tackle:

  • Active stretching: included walking lunges, reverse walking lunges and bear crawls.
  • Warm up: Burpees Tabata followed by 50 meter walking lunge. Just a reminder on what constitutes a Tabata, the high-intensity training protocol features eight continuous intervals of 20 seconds of maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest. Check out the clip below to see what a few of those 20 seconds of work looked like. Needless to say after we finished the burpees, adding those walking lunges provided one heck of a warm up!
  • Workout: I really liked this AMRAP -“as many reps/rounds as possible” – combo. Our mission was to push out as many rounds as possible in a five-minute interval of the following exercises for a total of three rounds. We had one minute of glorious rest in between each round.

Round one

  • 10 pistols: Another term for single-leg squats. We used the park benches as a start/end point for the exercise. As a regression, we could switch to “regular” squats as needed.
  • 10 box jumps: We used the park benches for these, too. The regression was to do a step-up and step-down.
  • 10 push ups

Round two

  • 100 meter sprint
  • 10 walk out push-ups

Round three

  • 100 single-unders (jump rope)
  • 25 situps

Just to further clarify the AMRAP concept: in round one, we’d bang out the 10 pistols, 10 box jumps and 10 push ups, then start over with the pistols again and keep repeating as many rounds of the three-exercise combo until we heard the blessed buzzer on Roberto’s iPad. After the five minutes were up, we had one minute to drink some water, stretch and catch our breath before moving on to rounds two and three featuring the different exercise combinations.

The endorphins generated by this killer workout kept me energized from the moment I banged out my last sit up right right through the last out at Yankee Stadium where I happily watched my beloved Bronx Bombers beat the Devil Rays. I’m already pumped to see what Roberto has in store for us next time around!

If you’re beyond the beginner level and looking to kick things up a notch, this kind of workout won’t let you down! Click here for more information about CrossFit UWS.

Remember, regardless of your fitness level, mixing up your exercise routine with different workouts and different venues is a great way to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Another Killer Outdoor Workout Wednesday

With CrossFit UWS Co-Owners Roberto & Ashleigh

Happy Workout Wednesday!

For this week’s installment, I gladly share another kick-butt workout courtesy of CrossFit UWS head coach Roberto Murichi.

I survived..I mean enjoyed…this workout with seven other Saturday morning warriors in Central Park. Here’s what we did:

  • Active stretching: included walking lunges, reverse walking lunges, side hops and knee-up hops.
  • Warm up: 200 m run followed by the maximum number of push ups we could do before having to drop to our knees. The alternative was to hold a plank as long as possible before dropping. Three rounds total.
  • Workout: Roberto put together another heart-pounding combination of exercises. This time, each of us was timed upon completion of the following three rounds:

Round one

  • 100 m run
  • 21 burpees
  • 21 squats
  • 21 push ups
  • 21 box jumps (using park benches)
  • 21 sit ups

For rounds two and three, we again started with the 100 meter run and moved on to the exercises in the same order. The only thing that changed was the number of reps. For round two, we dropped to 18 reps for each exercise and for our final round, we were down to 15.

Honestly, after 21 burpees, I had no idea how I’d make it through the rest of the exercises in the first round, let alone get through all three.Yet, thanks to the positive coaching from Roberto, shout-outs and high fives from the rest of the group, I somehow made it to the last sit up and heard myself shouting “Time!” I finished in 17:05.

Workout completed, I found myself covered in sweat, grass and dirt, feeling completely spent and exhilarated at the same time. Then, the heavens opened and we all welcomed the soaking rain as we sprinted out of the park to get to our next Saturday morning destinations.

It’s been great adding this outdoor workout to my weekly fitness routine. Being in the park offers a break from the ordinary, and having Roberto cheering us through the reps and rounds while keeping an eye on our form offers some great motivation. If anyone lives in the city and wants to give the workout a try, click here for more information about CrossFit UWS.

If you’re beyond the beginner level and looking to kick things up a notch, this kind of workout won’t let you down! Regardless of your fitness level, mixing up your exercise routine by venturing into the great outdoors is a  wonderful way to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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